Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A/C, NYC, Brakes, and Razor Blades

Over the weekend I picked up some brake pads and a new stud for the van. One of the wheel studs had gotten cross-threaded that last time it had been taken off, so David wanted to replace it. However, he forgot to tell me to get another lug nut...so we weren't able to do the brake pads. We did however, look into unclogging the A/C drain pipe. Since our camping trip a few weeks ago, the front carpet in the van had been getting sopping wet! I googled "water in front car floor" and came up with the likely problem being a clog in the drain pipe of the air conditioner. It seemed like it would be a fairly easy fix...a matter of finding the pipe and sticking some wire up it to unclog it. 

Unfortunately, David wasn't feeling well on Saturday...he actually left work early and went to bed for the rest of the day. He was super nauseous! :( I was hoping that by Sunday afternoon we might be able to work on the car a bit. Since we had to go to NYC on Tuesday, I wanted to at least get the A/C back up so we wouldn't have to drive with a puddle at our feet. After church on Sunday I cajoled him into looking and helping me find the pipe. I would unclog it, I just didn't know where it was. He didn't want anything to do with the actual cleaning...didn't want to deal with the probably nasty water. Not a good idea at this point for him. We couldn't really find any great pointers online, so we went under the car to look. We couldn't find it...David wanted me to take it to a shop and get them to do it. I really didn't want to though, it seemed like such an easy fix...if we could only find it! Dad came over with some ribs (yum!!!). He went out to look too...plus all the kids kept "helping" too. He actually found it! Yay Dad!!! It was on the driver's side...we had expected it to be on the passenger side due to most of the online pointers. We used some weedeater string...more pliable and less likely to puncture. Dad got it up there a little bit...I was able to get it a bit further and whoosh, a bunch of black water came out. Huzzah! Couldn't go any further...but I was hopeful! So far, so good...no water leaking in the car...lots of puddles under the car when we stop, just like it's supposed to be. Plus, the A/C is much colder again. Yay us!

Like I said, we weren't able to do the brake pads right then, because we were missing the lug nut and spacers to mount the new bolt. I figured I'd pray over the car for safety, because we had our trip to NYC on Tuesday. The kids were thrilled to spend the night at Papa's house...we probably should have used the opportunity to go watch a movie! Darn! lol...anyways, off we went at 6 AM (I was driving, of course! and David sleeping ;) Thankfully, we didn't hit any traffic, other than waiting to get into the parking garage...there was a big line there for some reason. Anyways, we were on time for the appointment...lol, yes, that's not always the case. We were just seeing the nurse practitioner for a quick how's it going sort of appointment before getting his IV chemo. His blood counts were good, but come to find out, some level of something in his liver was a bit elevated. The NP said it wasn't at dangerous levels, but it's caused by the procarbazine...not an uncommon development. She said that he would not take anymore procarbazine, but just finish the cycle with the vincristine (IV chemo). David was all about that! Like I said, he's been feeling pretty crummy, so was more than happy to get out of some of the chemo. Unfortunately, after getting his hopes up...she came back out after talking to the doctor saying, since this is the last cycle, and it's not at a dangerous level, he wanted David to go ahead and finish out the cycle with all the meds. BOOOOoooo!!! He does need to monitor the liver levels, so she gave us a new scrip for his bloodwork. Also, because of the elevated liver counts, he can't take Tylenol anymore...he's already forbidden to take Motrin and any other NSAIDS, as they are blood thinners and that's a concern with all the chemo he's on. Now when he has his headaches, etc, he basically can't take any over the counter meds. Thankfully, he does still get some Oxycodone from his general practioner...hopefully we can get a bigger prescription while he's restricted from everything else.

 Yes, I made sure I wore some gray ;)

Anyways, after our appointment, we went and grabbed a bite before waiting for the vincristine infusion. Thankfully, the NP had let us know the pharmacy was running about an hour behind...plus they had to wait for the blood work to come back before they mix the chemo at the pharmacy. Sometimes we're too worrried to leave and wind up starving! Anyways, it was a bit of a wait, but we were still out of there by a little after lunchtime. I meant to get a pic of David all hooked up to the IV, but I forgot. Oh well, maybe next time. David said he'd drive once we got to Danbury...of course, that still left me with the bad (more than) half of the trip...lol...but as he pointed out, it was a better deal than normal. hahaha...what a stinker! When I pulled into the Starbucks in Danbury, he groaned...already?!?!? and I was thinking "Finally!!!" I normally can't sleep when someone else is driving...mostly because I feel rude...but not this time! I was exhausted...didn't wake up till we were about 10 minutes out. We had decided to stop at the auto part store before going home to pick up the missing parts. David had forgotten, but by the time we were almost home, our brakes were grinding SOOOOO badly! Like, it was painful to hear. Yikes...it was weird, it went from, "huh, we should probably change the brake pads out" to "oh my goodness, this car is undriveable!" in about 10 minutes! While we were there, we also grabbed some cool .44 mag round valve covers for the tires...lol

We get home, we're just cringing anytime he has to touch the brakes. The van is an automatic and he's using 3rd and 2nd gear to slow down as much as possible. It was SO bad! Anyways, I called Rachel up to let her know the van was undriveable for the next couple hours, so we wouldn't be getting the kids anytime soon. Thankfully Dad didn't mind driving them home! Whew! I was just so thankful that all my prayers for the van got us home! That thing needs so much love! The exhaust pipes are so rusted out, the heads (we think) are knocking, the a/c thankfully was an easy fix...the brake pads aren't that big a deal to change out, but now, we need new rotors! Yes, that was the grinding we heard...the brake pads were worn completely through. David was just happy the calipers were ok, didn't need replaced. Getting the old cross-threaded stud out proved to be a bit difficult. Not only did we have to take off the brake pads, but the calipers had to come off...plus, there was a hood type thing behind the wheel to trap in dust and whatnot...which, of course, was too close to allow the stud to push out. Not to mention that all the bolts were rusted beyond belief. There were literally flakes of rust just falling off as he's working on it. David had to break out his impact wrench, blowtorch, sledge hammer, and finally, his grinder. He enjoyed rubbing in how his tools (that he bought to work on his Mustang) really do come in handy. Whatever babe! lol



 Anyways, it took a couple of hours, but we finally managed to get that bad boy all fixed up, well not really, but the stud replaced and new pads on it. He ground the stud off...he was able to get the new stud in with a bit of manhandling. Then the new brake pads went on...the old ones were completely, I mean, completely worn off!


We only did the one tire...since we have to replace the rotors, we didn't want to do all the work twice. Now the car is driveable...and when the rotors come in we'll do all of them. Plus, we gotta figure something with the exhaust pipe out...not to mention the tire treads are completely worn down, so we need new tires. Yuck!



Papa and the kids showed up right after we finished...perfect timing. Look at Red Three...so camera aware, it's a little scary! hahaha! I gotta admit, I was pretty impressed at David doing all that work after our long day at the doctor! You go, babe!

He was super excited, because his Amazon package had shown up. Here's something to know about David. Once he gets a bee in his bonnet, there is no stopping him. You've just got to ride it out and hope that enough time passes and he'll forget about whatever his new obsession is. He's got his major "hobbies" as he calls them....I call them unmentionable things sometimes. ;) His sound system (oh my), his Mustang (double oh my), his computer, his phone/technology, sometimes it's just a new video game...this time around, it's straight razors. Don't ask me! I have no idea where this one came from...probably Youtube. Anyways, he all of a sudden decided he wanted to get into reusable razors. Thankfully, he decided to get the disposable version to see if he liked it. It is much cheaper than your typical Schick and Gillettes, I gotta admit. But there is more upfront cost. If you go with a real straight razor, you also have to get a strop and whetstone (I think) which are actually really expensive! But supposedly, the razor will last forever, like you could hand it on to your kids sort of long. Anyways, he decided to ease into it to see if he liked it, with the changeable straight razor. The blades are really cheap, and supposedly wicked sharp. I was making fun of him...I had just read an article about how Schick and Gillette's sales are down this year, mainly due to hipsters not shaving and also people using the dollar razor website etc. Anyways, he was horrified at the thought that he might be a hipster. Then he was like, what's a hipster? So I told him the classic hipster joke:


Bwahaha... hipster! we were laughing at the thought of him being a hipster, but he really kinda is! ROFL

Anyways, he couldn't wait to try it out. He got some nice shaving cream, the kind you lather up yourself, new pre-shave gel, some of the styptic stuff for nicks, and a bar of alum, which is a mineral that's antiseptic, good for bleeding, etc. Supposedly it works as a deodorant too, but we both tried that old and neither one of us were sold. I decided to watch, so see what a mess he made of his face. Supposedly, you always cut yourself with these things until you get used to it, especially since the blades are much sharper than the regular ones. He did just fine the first time around...but then when he did the against the grain pass, he got a few nicks. He didn't love it, but maybe it's just cause he's not used to it. He did say that now he wants to try the Japanese version of the straight razor, which basically doesn't fold up. The handle was getting in his way.

  I see blood! haha

Anyways, it was a nice close shave, but possibly not worth the extra time and steps. We'll see. I'm just glad he decided to do the starter blade instead of jumping in with all the expensive stuff!

He wasn't sure if he'd be up for work today, what with two new chemos in his system...but thankfully today was no problem. He did feel sick again tonight though. He was hungry, but as soon as he started to eat, he got nauseous. I hate when he feels so bad...and I can't fix it! Plus, I'm starting to get congested...I feel fine, but the last thing he needs is an infection! Pneumonia is a concern with the chemo regimen he's on. He's actually on preventative antibiotics just for pneumonia. Think he'll be sleeping alone tonight...I'd feel horrible if he got sick! I'm just gonna keep praying!